From Egyptian coffins to Impressionist masterpieces – the Fitzwilliam Museum’s world-class collections of art and antiquities span centuries and civilizations.
Closed Mon (except Bank Holidays when open 12.00-17.00) Closed Good Friday; 24,25,26 & 31 Dec and 1 Jan.
The Fitzwilliam Museum has magnificent permanent collections of international importance. The entire collection is a Designated Collection of national importance.
Holdings include antiquities from Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome; English and European pottery and glass; furniture, clocks, fans and armour, coins, medals, illuminated, literary and music manuscripts and rare printed books; paintings, including masterpieces by Simone Martini, Domenico Veneziano, Veronese, Titian, Rubens, Hals, Van Dyck, Canaletto, Hogarth, Gainsborough, Constable, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne, Monet and Picasso, portrait miniatures and 20th century art, and changing displays of drawings, watercolours and prints. The collections also include artefacts from Sudan and Cyprus, and Chinese, Japanese and Korean art, rugs and samplers.
Founded in 1816, the Museum is housed in splendid buildings, the first of which, designed by George Basevi opened in 1848.
Items from this collection
Weapons and War, Music, Fine Art, Decorative and Applied Art, Costume and Textiles, Coins and Medals, Archaeology
Key artists and exhibits
- Ancient Egypt, Sudan
- Greece and Rome
- Roman and Romano-Egyptian Art
- Western Asiatic displays and Cypriot Art
- English and European pottery and glass, furniture, clocks, fans, armour
- Chinese, Japanese and Korean art
- Simone Martini, Domenico Veneziano, Titian, Veronese, Rubens, Van Dyck, Hals, Canaletto, Hogarth, Gainsborough, Constable, Monet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne and Picasso
- Designated Collection
Caroline Watson and Female Printmaking in Late Georgian England
- 23 September 2014 — 4 January 2015 *on now
This exhibition shows a selection of her portrait and subject prints, together with those of other contemporary women printmakers. It is accompanied by a catalogue by David Alexander, Honorary Keeper of British Prints, which outlines Watson’s career and relationship with artists such as Sir Joshua Reynolds. The catalogue includes a checklist of the hundred or so prints that she produced throughout her lifetime as well as a transcription of fascinating letters to William Hayley, the writer who employed her to illustrate his Life of George Romney.
- Any age
1914: War and Money
- 30 September 2014 — 25 January 2015 *on now
World War I consumed vast quantities of money as well as lives. This display of coins, medals, banknotes and government bonds provides an insight into the desperate measures that had to be used to maintain a supply of money, from the transition of gold coinage at the outbreak of war in 1914 to inflationary paper money by 1918 when the great European empires fell.
- Any age
Silent Partners: Artist & Mannequin from Function to Fetish
- 14 October 2014 — 25 January 2015 *on now
For centuries, the mannequin, or lay figure, was little more than a studio tool, a piece of equipment as necessary as easel, pigments and brushes. This major new loan exhibition reveals the multiple purposes it serves - from fixing perspective and painting reflections, to being a support for drapery and costume - and shows how it gradually moved centre stage to become the subject of the painting, photograph or film, eventually becoming a work of art in its own right.
One of the most wide-ranging and ambitious shows ever hosted at the Museum, the exhibition will feature over 180 paintings, drawings, books and photographs as well as fashion dolls, trade catalogues, a series of extraordinary patent documents and videos. There will be paintings and drawings by Cézanne, Poussin, Gainsborough, Millais, Ford Madox Brown, and Degas as well as photographs by and of Surrealist artists such as Man Ray, Hans Bellmer and Salvador Dali; works by Jake and Dinos Chapman show that, even today, artists continue to be drawn to the creative potential unleashed by our artificial Others.
After its showing in Cambridge, Silent Partners will travel to the Musée Bourdelle, Paris. It will be accompanied by a lavishly illustrated book published by Yale University Press in association with Paris Musées.
The exhibition also forms part of Curating Cambridge: our city, our stories, our stuff, presented by the University of Cambridge Museums with the Festival of Ideas.